If you’ve found that your spouse is quick to interrupt, dominates all conversation, suffers from delusions of grandeur, requires endless praise, and in layman’s terms, bears a shocking character resemblance to Dennis from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, you may be married to a narcissist. While a lot of these traits can be annoying, over time this behavior can develop into damaging emotional abuse. It’s important to talk to your partner about actions that bother and hurt you or seek the advice of a relationship counselor.
The narcissist character comes from the story of Greek myth about an attractive hunter named Narcissus. The story establishes the two facets of narcissism: It’s not just the intense love of self-image, but also the destructive manipulation of those around them that can make narcissists difficult people. Here are some traits to look out for:
They’re conversational manipulators
If you constantly find yourself being interrupted by your spouse, it may not just be disrespectful behavior but a narcissistic one as well. Narcissists like to dominate and control the conversation. They love building up their accomplishments and only discussing what suits their fancy, not caring what another person thinks or feels.
They have a lofty sense of self-importance
Because of the narcissist’s sense of superiority, they will often talk about themselves, their accomplishments, and why they consider themselves to be better than other people. Sometimes, this can cause narcissists to manipulate the people around them and make them feel inferior.
They’re the hero in their story
A lot of people don’t like to admit when they’re wrong, but narcissists feel like they are the hero or heroine in every story. As the constant protagonist, they always direct the plot and because all events revolve around them, they can never be wrong.
They don’t think the rules apply to them
Since narcissists believe that they are special and above everyone else, they may also believe that rules simply don’t apply to them. They may try to avoid deadlines or get out of tasks they deem undesirable. Moreover, they may think personal boundaries also don’t apply to them and may try to take advantage of the people around them.
They have idealized fantasies
If they constantly have their head in the clouds dreaming of a new life of wealth and fame, they may be a narcissist. With this unparalleled sense of confidence (or at least the illusion of it) they can easily become consumed by the possibility of achieving their greatest form, often at the expense of others.
They demand constant praise
Because narcissists are so self-obsessed, they are often prone to insecurities. Consequently, they may ask or manipulate the conversation so that they can have constant praise and external validation.
They lack empathy
Since narcissists are self-absorbed and tend to live in their own heads, they can sometimes have a hard time sympathizing with others. It’s difficult for them to see themselves in other people when they are only thinking of themselves.
They’re easily jealous
Because narcissists are overly proud of their accomplishments, they can often lash out in jealousy when someone threatens their elitist status. This envy is a defense mechanism against losing their sense of superiority.